December 19, 2011

Congress Still Working On Payroll Tax Cut Extensions | West Virginia MetroNews

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says the Senate plan to extend the payroll tax cuts for two months is not the answer.

"This is a 60 day fix," a frustrated Senator Manchin said on Monday's MetroNews Talkline.  

"That kicks the can down for two months and we'll be debating it continuously .  For one of those two months, we're on vacation.  We're off for Christmas break right now.  I would have gladly stayed there and worked through this."

Before the start of the holiday break on Saturday, the U.S. Senate approved the temporary payroll tax cut extension plan.  Senator Manchin was one of the few Democrats who voted against the proposal.  U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller supported it.

"We just respectfully disagree," Senator Manchin said of the differing votes from West Virginia's two Senators.

On Monday night, the Senate proposal was scheduled to get a vote from members of the U.S. House of Representatives.  House Speaker John Boehner, though, has been pushing for a one year long extension of the payroll tax cuts.

Votes on House changes will likely come Tuesday.  Right now, there are no indications Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will call the Senate back to Washington to address any changes.

Without an extension from Congress, the payroll tax cuts, which take what you pay into Social Security from 6.2% to 4.2%, will run out with the close of 2011.  Analysts say the typical worker would pay another $1,000 a year in 2012 if the extension fails.

Senator Manchin, though, says Social Security needs the money.

"I just believe it's time to really fix the problem."  To do that, he says those in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House need to set aside politics.

"We're playing games.  We're taking names and we're keeping score all for the next election.  I don't think West Virginians sent me there for that purpose.  I'm sure not there voting that type of mentality."